We need an EU system to assess medicines and medical treatments, say S&Ds

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Socialists and Democrats are at the forefront in the struggle for high quality public health systems that provide affordable and safe healthcare to all. The S&Ds have fought for a harmonised assessment system and for better quality and efficacy of health technologies.
 
In a report backed today by the environment and health parliamentary committee, S&Ds now call for the introduction of joint clinical assessments of health technologies at EU level.
 
S&D MEP Soledad Cabezón, who is the author of the report, said:
 
“There is clearly an added value for patients and for public health systems in establishing an EU-wide system. Health is a fundamental right, and we must do our outmost not to let the market logic prevail, so we ask the Commission to propose a regulation on Health Technologies Assessment (HTA).
 
“In the last decade, the price of anti-cancer drugs has increased by up to 10 times more than their effectiveness as treatments. However, studies show that based on an average of five years’ monitoring, only 14-15% of the drugs improve survival rates. In addition, a very high percentage of new medicinal products brought onto the European market offer no advantage over existing products.
 
“The need for more evidence on medical devices led 20 member states and Norway to introduce clinical assessment schemes, adopt guidelines and carry out public consultation procedures at an early stage. It is a shame that the EU is lagging behind.
 
“A regulation is needed to make global regulation possible, to clear the way for the right balance to be struck between all parties and interests, with the focus on the patient, to guarantee access to medicines as well as the sustainability of healthcare systems, and to foster high-quality research and development (R&D).